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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Belmont Notes - June 7

- Wayne Lukas is not only having a bad year in the Triple Crown - when's the last time, I wonder, he didn't have a single entrant in the entirety of the series - but he's 0 for 34 at the current Churchill meeting.

Lukas is the last trainer to win two of the classics with different horses; he took the Derby with Grindstone and the Belmont with Editor's Note in 1996. Tom Albertrani will be trying to do the same with Deputy Glitters. His comment line for the Derby is "11w," and Sherry Ross of the NY Daily News asks: How did jockey Jose Lezcano get to the finish line without snagging a broad-brimmed hat and a mint julep off some lady in the crowd? Talk about your lukewarm favorite, it's Bluegrass Cat, virtually by default, at 3-1. I'm willing to virtually guarantee that Bluegrass Cat will not be the favorite at post time. I think that Sunriver will. I also think he's going to win the race; that seemed apparent to me even as he was zeroing in on Lewis Michael at the eighth pole three weeks ago in the Peter Pan. He got that final furlong in an almost unbelievable 11 2/5.

The Peter Pan hasn't produced a Belmont winner since AP Indy in 1992; before then, Danzig Connection, in 1986, and Coastal in 1981. [EDIT: OK, I was referring to horses that won the Peter Pan...see comments section below for further info.] Like Sunriver, those three skipped the Derby, though in the cases of AP Indy and Sunriver, it wasn't by design. Sunriver probably wasn't ready to beat Barbaro on that day anyway, and now he comes up to the Belmont perfectly. I've been getting distracted by some of the others who may be live at double digit odds. However, seeing it in print via the Racing Form pp's confirms my belief that not only will he win, but he will do so as the favorite; I think that he looks like a standout on paper. I think that reader Steve D's hopes of 4-1 is an absolute best-case scenario.

We're all happy to see that both Platinum Couple and Double Galore will grace us with their presence. Given the wagering patterns in these post-Giacomo Triple Crown races, I think the oddsmaker was correct to make them both 30-1, even though 300-1 would be a more accurate assessment of their chances to win.

Meanwhile, the weather here is fucking miserable; it's been raining for the last 24 hours, at least, and it's supposed to linger on into tomorrow. There are scattered showers in the forecast for Friday and Saturday. It may take a lot of work to get that track fast for Saturday. It dries out very slowly - significantly more so than Aqueduct - and in the past, it has taken massive efforts to get that track fast for big days. And if the forecast turns to a steadier rain, it could turn into an attendance embarrassment for NYRA.


Anonymous said...

I think old D. Wayne coaxed a cheap maiden claimer across the line today down in Louisville.

He eats tomorrow

Bank Check

Anonymous said...

Didn't 'Lemon Drop Kid' run 3rd in the Peter Pan, before he won the Belmont in 1999?

Alan Mann said...

Yes. And Colonial Affair ran second in 1993.